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The Noon Columns

Map of the Noon Columns in The National Forest Needwood & South Derbyshire Claylands Noon Column The Trent Valley Noon Column The Mease and Sence Noon Column Melbourne Parklands Noon Column The Leicestershire & South Derbyshire Noon Column Charnwood Noon Column


The National Forest is one of the country’s most ambitious environmental projects, creating new, wooded, landscapes across 200 square miles of The Midlands.

It is defined by six “regional character areas”, which have individual unity and local distinctiveness. These are often parts of wider landscapes occurring outside the Forest boundary. Each area is defined by some key characteristics.

The National Forest’s Heritage Lottery funded project "LANDshapes" commissioned world-renowned artist David Nash to create six Noon Columns, one in each of the distinct landscape areas of the 200 square mile National Forest.

Each of the 3-4m high columns is carved from sustainable English Oak, and each reflects the character of the landscape in which it is situated: the Trent Valley column at Croxall Lakes, Staffordshire, is reminiscent of a flood marker; at Grangewood in Derbyshire, the column reflects the spires towering above villages hidden in the surrounding countryside; in Sence Valley, the column is charred charcoal black, to remind onlookers of the area’s mining and industrial heritage.

The columns are placed so that, at True Noon each day, the sun shines through a slot carved in the wood, creating a line of light within the shadow cast by the column itself.

The six Noon Columns have been supported by:

 Arts Council England logo Jaguar Cars Ltd logo British Waterways logo Viv Astling - National Forest Company, Chairman 1998-2005